If this is the movie I think it is (in how many movies did Johh Wayne have a Swedish accent?), it wasn't but a few years ago when I got a chance to see it from beginning to end as an adult.
When I think of this movie, there is one scene that stands out from all the rest; and it is the haunting musical score that caused this. The scene, as I said, is quite simple. We see nothing but the ship itself leaving a dock in the harbor at night. And then the music - "Those Harbor Lights" - begins in what strikes me as a bitter-sweet tone - building gradually during its short duration in such a fashion that it left me feeling almost empty, desperate, hopeless, helpless - for want of better adjectives. I had heard that tune many times over the years - but never as so hauntingly and piercingly as it was performed in that movie - and without words, too! It turned out to be one of those tunes that - once it entered my head - would bounce around and around - taking me days to finally purge it from my system.
Not too many movie scenes have affected me this way.
I highly recommend this movie for this scene alone. To me it is a different type of John Ford movie, but with top-notch acting, including Thomas Mitchell, Barry Fitzgerald, Barry's brother Arthur Shields, and John Wayne (and with a Swedish accent in the bargain!). A real joy to watch.